Nobly-Named Mascots Need Encouragement [PHIL-OSOPHY]
The whole mascot argy-bargy has returned, where Massachusetts public schools are possibly facing some kind of humiliation if they don't change their loathsome name chosen to represent an athletic team.
The spat boils down to whether the state, that has its hands on public school funding, should ban all mascots that could be deemed offensive by some. Today, that's a very large category and pretty much most mascots can be displeasing to someone. And if it's not nasty now, just wait a generation or two because attitudes are always changing.
One draconian solution is to drop all mascot names and logos and just refer to them by their city or public high school name. But in practicality, people would continue to call the team by their old mascot name, so that wouldn't solve anything.
There are those who claim they are victims of the negative stereotyping, who say no one else can understand what they are forced to endure because the mascot name lowers their self esteem and makes them feel less than. Well, if we're not able to make a distinction between some mascot and a human being, then our societal problems run much deeper than offending someone's feelings.
We are mature enough to figure out whether a name is truly offensive, and we change it, or whether that name was chosen to gloriously represent a team to honor a historical people, person or thing. I believe these noble intentions should be encouraged and not dismissed as pejorative.
As the former co-owner of the Shawmut Diner, I say we should not end the use of logos and mascots that are a tribute to the names to which we take off our hats.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.